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2021 NRL Round 15, Dragons 22 Raiders 20 – Report

Craig Cauchi reviews the clash between the Dragons and the Raiders. Here’s how the game went.

SCOREBOARD

Dragons 22

Tries: Billy Burns (30), Gerard Beale (50), Tyrell Sloan (52), Corey Norman (68)

Goals: Corey Norman (31, 42, 69)

Raiders 20

Tries: Corey Harawira-Naera (8), Sebastian Kris (19), Joseph Tapine (44)

Goals: Sam Williams (9, 20, 40, 46)

Player of the Year Points

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3 pts – Ben Hunt (Dragons)
2 pts – Jack de Belin (Dragons)
1 pt – Paul Vaughan (Dragons)

MATCH REPORT

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1st Half

The Dragons were made to pay for their early mistakes and it was a crafty bit of ball work from Josh Hodgson finding Corey Harawira-Naera, who brushed past the defence and scored the opening. With the strong breeze at their backs the Raiders stormed down field and were eventually able to cross for their second with Elliott Whitehead bouncing off defenders and popping a pass out for Sebastian Kris to score. Ben Hunt helped crack the Raiders defence on two occasions but his support players were unable to take advantage of the opportunity. The Dragons were adventurous in attack and a break from Wiliame helped provide the field position for Ben Hunt to send Billy Burns – a late inclusion for a sick Jackson Ford – in for their teams first try. A one-on-one steal from Josh Hodgson helped turn the momentum late in the second half but the Raiders were too slow to get the ball out wide, coming up with an error to take the pressure off. Sam Williams added a penalty goal after the half time siren.

HALF-TIME: Dragons 6 Raiders 14

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2nd Half

Barley a set into the second half and the Dragons took advantage of the wind with Andrew McCullough booting a 40/20. From the attacking set, the Dragons were awarded the penalty and elected to take the two. But the positive first set was undone with a mistake off the next. With great field position the Raiders cracked the line with some nice passes between the forwards giving Joseph Tapine an easy passage to the try line. Ben Hunt took advantage of a passive defensive line on the last tackle, slicing through and passing off for Jack Bird who have it off to Gerard Beale to finish off the lovely try. The Dragons were in for a second try in as many minutes with this one just as spectacular as the previous. Ben Hunt passed inside for debutant Tyrell Sloan, who kicked ahead, with the ball bouncing into Norman’s grasp, the five-eighth flicked out for Sloan to get over for the try. The Raiders looked to have turned the momentum only for the try to Jack Wighton being over turned on review. Another 40/20, this time from Ben Hunt, helped the Dragons get out of their end after defending multiple sets on their line. The Dragons hit the front for the first time in the final ten minutes, Corey Norman the beneficiary of an around the corner offload from Paul Vaughan despite multiple defenders hanging onto the front rower. The Raiders had plenty of chances to score a late try to win the match but the Dragons defence held on for the victory off the back of a much improved performance from last week.

FULL-TIME: Dragons 22 Raiders 20

Injuries

Sebastian Kris (Raiders) – eye

Match Review Committee

Mikaele Ravalawa (Dragons) – Grade 1 Shoulder Charge – Early Guilty Plea 3 match ban, Guilty at Judiciary 4 match ban.

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